Was it super hot everywhere last week?  There was also a heat wave here in the UK over the past two weeks and we’re getting a little rain now too to cool off.  Phew!  Of course there’s MUCH more sun to be had this summer and because of this I wanted to be sure to share some of my favorite summer tips with you.
Sunscreen –The One Ingredient You’ll Want To Avoid
With how common vitamin D deficiency is and how important it is for your hormone, bone and immune health, it’s worth soaking up every bit of sunshine you can. But since everything you put on your skin is absorbed INTO your body, you’ll also want to be really careful of what sunscreen you choose to cover yourself with.
The most important ingredient to check for and avoid in sunscreens is oxybenzone.  It can act like estrogens in your body and throw off your body’s hormone balance.  Sunscreens alone won’t disrupt your entire hormone system, but with so many environmental chemicals out there that also act like estrogen, each choice you make to lower your exposure adds up to A LOT of benefit!

The Environmental Working Group (EWG)’s online guide to sunscreensis an amazing resource for learning about safe sunscreen options.  You can search for your favorite sunscreen and see how its ingredients rate in terms of safety.  See below for the link.
One quick tip is that some of the organic sunscreens can be a little thick and leave a white coating on your skin.  I tried out a new organic brand on our most recent vacation and my husband nicknamed it “clown sauce”.   Let’s just say that one didn’t make the cut 🙂  

My favorite?  A sunscreen I like that absorbs well and has a good rating on EWG’s site is Alba Botanica Fragrance Free sunscreen.  Their children’s suncreen also rates well for safety.  
Natural Electrolytes:
Electrolyte drinks are absorbed and used by your body faster than plain water.  This is key for hot days, when you’re active, and when you’re sick and need to replenish fluids to prevent dehydration.
If you want to skip on the high fructose corn syrup in most sports drinks but aren’t sure what the best option is, I have great news for you.  It’s really easy to make electrolyte drinks at home.
Two easy electrolyte drinks you can make:

  • Apple drink:  500mL apple juice + 500mL water + ¼ tsp sea salt (make sure to use sea salt not table salt)
  • Lemon drink:  1 Liter of water + juice of 3 lemons + 1/4 cup honey + ¼ tsp sea salt

When I lived in Vancouver I would often make the apple drink and take it with me for long bike rides in the mountains.
Cooling Summer Salad
Sometimes ideas are the biggest gap between wanting to eat healthy and actually doing it each day.   I’m no master chef, but I do absolutely love food and every time I make something healthy that tastes great I think about sharing it with you.  Although my cooking is super simple, it’s another little source of ideas that can help you create the balance you want in your health. 
This past week I’ve been really enjoying a light summer quinoa salad.  All you need is:

  • Quinoa – 1/2 – 1 cup cooked
  • Sugar snap peas – chopped
  • Cooked corn – cut from the cob
  • Cucumber – diced
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Chopped fresh mint
  • Chopped fresh basil
  • Dressing – apple cider vinegar and olive oil (1/3 apple cider vinegar to 2/3 olive oil is an easy way to do the proportions).
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste

Pick your own amounts of all of the ingredients, mix them up together and add in a little bit of the dressing to taste.   Yum.

Take Action Now

  • Visit EWG’s Guide to Sunscreens and find out how your go-to sunscreen rates for safety and toxicity.  You can also learn about safer alternatives for you and your family there.
  • Pick up some apple juice or fresh lemons and make up a big batch of naturally hydrating drinks for when the next hot day hits.

Enjoy 🙂
All the best,
Dr. Viv